On May 4, Elochukwu Eze, a 6-foot-10 center at Asheville Christian Academy (N.C.) who is drawing interest from a handful of Division I colleges, was diagnosed with a fist-sized brain tumor and had to undergo emergency surgery. Eze has agreed to give USA Today High Schools Sports exclusive access into his road to recovery by chronicling his thoughts and experiences in a blog.
Hey everybody! I hope you are all good. This March Madness is awesome! I can’t wait to be a part of the college game and tournament time.
I have always said that faith is a central part of my focus and I am staying true to that course in my recruiting. After all I have been through, coming to the US, surgery and moving as a senior it has helped me through it all.
I recently took an official visit to the University of Evansville with my mom and dad. It was a really good visit and we now hold the record for the shortest period of time inside the Chicago O’Hare airport – less than 60 seconds. Our first plane was delayed and they held the second plane for us and it was across the hall in the terminal. The ticket guy was actually waving us onto our plane as we got off our first plane.
So, I spent two days at UE and really enjoyed it.
It is a very high academic school and I like that. I liked the basketball facilities, the school facilities, the apartments, the coaches and the players I met. I really appreciated the Dean of the Business School, Dr. Rawski, who took time on a Saturday during Spring Break to meet with me and my parents and made me excited about my future business studies.
I also liked meeting with the Director of Admissions (hey, they never get enough shout-outs).
On Sunday morning, I met with Coach Simmons for the final time. We had a real good talk and he told me that he really wanted me to commit and that I was a great fit for Evansville. I explained to him that I wanted to talk with my parents, pray over it and get back to him and he said he totally understood.
We flew back to Asheville and my parents and I talked a lot about the school, other schools that have been recruiting me and the next steps. It is now the biggest decision of my life.
Anyway, I felt good about UE and started thanking some of the coaches that had recruited me for their time and efforts. I wanted to let them know I was narrowing in on my decision.
On Tuesday afternoon, I was getting ready to go to my basketball awards dinner when my dad walked in my room and asked if we could talk (that always means it’s serious). He showed me a text and then some tweets indicating that Coach Simmons was leaving UE. I texted the coaches and learned that it was true. I was saddened – It changed my decision and now it wasn’t even up to me to change.
I liked the coaches and the players. I know that change occurs, and it occurs a lot in college basketball – but it had never been real to me as it is now.
I like the UE School. I like the School of Business and I can see me chatting with Dean Rawski in the future.
But now the choice is not up to me – it is up to a coach that hasn’t even been named yet. The good thing is that I am an incoming freshman so I can be part of the process, the bad thing is a new coach may want to start fast with JUCO transfers. Who knows?
I have a few other coaches that I really like and I like their schools as well. I am going to continue my recruiting process. I have visits coming up and so I am excited about that and the opportunities that are out there.
For me, this has been my March Madness.
Maybe I should have created a set of recruiting brackets. Luckily I have my faith and I know I will be in the right place – I just don’t know where that will be yet.
As always, thanks for reading my blog and take care. Reach out to me if you want to talk.
I am Eze to talk to.
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